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Total lunar eclipse: what it is and the best way to view it

Posted at 6:41 PM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-14 00:35:09-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Las Vegas locals will be able to see a total lunar eclipse Sunday night.

A lunar eclipse happens when the sun, moon, and earth align and the moon passes into the shadow created by the earth.

During a lunar eclipse, the moon turns a reddish hue which is where the term "blood moon" comes from.

The reason for the red is because the only sunlight reaching the moon is light that has passed through the Earth's atmosphere.

Blue light has a relatively short wavelength so it scatters away easily while red has a longer wavelength that passes through the atmosphere.

It's the same reason our sunsets tend to have red and orange shades!

The sun sets around 7:40 Sunday night with the moonrise around 7:30 p.m. in the southeast sky.

The total eclipse starts around 8:30 p.m. and ends just before 10 p.m. with peak viewing around 9:15 p.m.

We'll be dodging a few clouds at that time but clearing is expected around 9 p.m. or 10 p.m.

Special glasses aren't necessary as the eclipse is safe to view!

The best chances are being in an open space with minimal light pollution and a clear view of the horizon.